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Clean Water Act regulate oil spills in the United States (LAW) - Essay Example

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The Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990, while amending section 311 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), gave specific role to the government in prevention the oil spills, responding to oil spills, and subjecting the parties responsible of oil spills to pay for damages (Oil Spills/SPCC 1)…
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Clean Water Act regulate oil spills in the United States (LAW)
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The Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Control of Oil Spills The Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990, while amending section 311 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), gave specific role to the government in prevention the oil spills, responding to oil spills, and subjecting the parties responsible of oil spills to pay for damages (Oil Spills/SPCC 1). Implementation of OPA is a responsibility of Coast Guard and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) (Chapter Eight 2). The section in Law that protects the environment from oil discharge is 40 CFR 110, and for Oil Pollution Prevention it is 40 CFR 112 (Pollution Control 1). The section of CWA that prohibits the discharge of threshold amounts of oil or hazardous substances into navigable waters of the United States is Section 311(b)(3) (Oil Spills/SPCC 1). Section 311(j) of CWA reduces the chances of oil spill and prevents the accidental release of stored oil in navigable waters by mandating facilities to prepare Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans by storing oil in significant quantities (Oil Spills/SPCC 1). The SPCC plans must be in accordance with the National Contingency Plan (NCP) (Chapter Eight 4). For facilities that have a greater risk of oil spills from storage are required to develop plans to respond rapidly in case of oil spills and clean up.
There are certain policies (SPCC plan) for prevention of oil spills. The SPCC plan must include the following points:
Recorded descriptions of oil spills in the previous year, response actions taken, and plans to avoid future oil spills. (Spill Prevention 1)
Determining the spill direction, quantity, and flow rate in an event of oil spill due to equipment failure. (Spill Prevention 1)
Prevention equipments to avoid oil spill from reaching source of navigable waters. (Spill Prevention 1)
Contingency plan and written obligation to remove discharges using manpower, equipment, and materials (Spill Prevention 1).
Comprehensive description of spill prevention and control measures including all facilities and their operations (Spill Prevention 1).
The SPCC plans have to be implemented by the facilities that have the total oil product storage of aboveground greater than 1320 gallons or underground more than 4200 gallons or aboveground storage of more than 660 gallons (Pollution Control 4). The SPCC plans must be in agreement with 40 CFR 112.7 and reviewed and certified by Registered Professional Engineer (Pollution Control 4). It must be reviewed by the facilities every three years or every time there is a change in the operator (Pollution Control 4). The copy of SPCC plan must be available with the operator who is attending 8 hours/day (Pollution Control 4). Periodic training must be provided to facility personnel, operator, and management for the spill prevention and response to oil spills (Pollution Control 4). Above storage tanks more than 660 gallons must be provided with secondary containment (Pollution Control 4). Appropriate cleanup equipments must be used to prevent oil spills from reaching navigable waters (Pollution Control 4). For drained water from the diked areas, a control valve must be used to lock when in use (Pollution Control 4).
In case of oil spill or discharge in navigable water or in waters of contiguous zone, it must be brought to the notice of management authority of the United States (National Response Center [NRC]) (Pollution Control 5). Service manager or project leader must notify to Regional Spill Coordinator before notifying the NRC (Pollution Control 5). Penalties are applied on facilities due to oil spills. Liabilities are for removal, damage, and trust fund (Pollution Control 5). Liability for Removal Cost includes cost for removing the spilled oil and cost for preventing pollution due to discharge (Chapter Eight 7). Liability of Damage includes recovery of damage to public or private property (Chapter Eight 7). Liability Trust fund is financed by the tax of oil products (Chapter Eight 7). This funds are used to pay removal cost by federal or state authorities, cost incurred by trustees for damage of natural resources, federal administration for implementing and enforcing OPA, and claims for removal cost of uncompensated damages (Chapter Eight 7).
Works Cited
“Chapter Eight: Oil Spills, Clean Water Act § 311, and the Oil Pollution Act.” blm.gov. Bureau
of Land Management (BLM), n. d. Web. 5 Dec. 2009.

.
“Oil Spills/SPCC Enforcement Program.” Enforcement in New England. epa.gov. Environmental
Protection Agency, 19 Nov. 2009. Web. 5 Dec. 2009.
.
“Pollution Control: Chapter 3 Clean Water Act.” fws.gov. Fish and Wildlife Service, 22 Mar.
1995. Web. 5 Dec. 2009. .
“Spill Prevention Control & CDOT.” ehso.com. Environment, Health and Safety Online, 23 Mar.
2009. Web. 5 Dec. 2009. . Read More
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